Radioactive Waste Management

Published - Nov 2002| Analyst - Carolyn Bailey| Code - ENV002B
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for radioactive waste-management technologies and services in 2002 is estimated at $6.7 billion, and is expected to fall at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of -3.8% through 2007 to $5.5 billion.
  • Infrastructure, research and support services represent 24% of the total business market in 2002, but will fall at an AAGR of 2.2% to $1.3 billion in 2007.
  • Transportation and disposal account for 16% of the market, and together the technology categories account for 60% of the market.
  • Decontamination and decommissioning technologies and services are falling the fastest, at an AAGR of 14.6%, and will drop to $417 million in 2007.
  • Stabilization and encapsulation technologies/services hold a 5% share and represent the only growing category in the business. This segment is expected to rise at an AAGR of 7.7% to nearly $450 million in 2007.



The production of nuclear weapons and power in the U.S. has left a 50-year legacy of unprecedented volumes of radioactive waste and contaminated subsurface media and structures. An accelerated environmental cleanup strategy will be implemented in the next several years that will rely on privatization and use of private-sector technology, and on the deployment of innovative technologies. This comprehensive Communications Co., Inc. (BCC) report analyzes the trends and developments of the U.S. market for radioactive waste management. The report provides an overview of the radioactive waste management , including history, important regulations, types and characteristics of the wastes, types of radioactive waste management technologies. This report also presents an examination of the nuclear waste industry structure and future trends. Market forecasts are presented by major technology type, technology subcategory within the major technology type, and waste type.


This Opportunity Report is intended to be the most complete, technical, economic, and document of its type on the radioactive waste management industry, and is designed to provide information of a professional nature. The technical data are dependent on the accuracy of the manufacturers and technical sources that help make up the BCC database. This report is not intended to constitute a legal or accounting document, nor is it an endorsement of any given company or technology. The author and BCC, as publisher, assume no liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material.


This report will be valuable to those involved in all aspects of radioactive waste management, from generators to vendors. Nuclear waste generators include the national laboratories, industrial research facilities, educational and medical institutions, electrical power utilities, medical diagnostics facilities, and various manufacturing processes. The report will also be of interest to government agencies regulating radioactive waste management activities, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). The report will be invaluable to vendors and consultants who are seeking solutions to the difficult problems of radioactive waste management. The report will also prove useful to organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency, whose member countries face radioactive waste management challenges similar to those in the U.S. Valuable information is also provided for investors, insurance investigators, legislators and policy makers, stakeholders, underwriters, researchers, and educators.


This report provides an analysis of the market for radioactive waste management technologies and services. The eight technology types analyzed are: characterization, monitoring, and sensors; containment and storage; compaction and size reduction; treatment; stabilization and encapsulation; remediation; decontamination and decommissioning; and waste transportation and disposal. Markets are also analyzed for waste transportation and disposal, and for waste management infrastructures, and for research and support services.

The report describes types of radioactive wastes and their characteristics. The history, structure, and key regulatory drivers of the industry are provided, along with an analysis of future trends that will affect the industry. Prominent domestic and foreign companies in the industry are profiled. The report also provides a detailed analysis of the current (2002) market and forecasts the market through the year 2007 by major technology type and subcategory, and by waste type. An assessment of technology needs for each technology category at Department of Energy field offices is also provided. International aspects of radioactive waste management are covered through market forecasts and profiles of countries with substantial radioactive waste inventories. The Appendices provide additional data on patents, products and services, agencies and organizations, references (including published, online, and Internet sources of information), and technology needs.


Throughout this report, market data are expressed in current year (2002) U.S. dollars, and forecasts are presented in constant year-2002 U.S. dollars. Market summaries are based on a scenario that assumes no extraordinary moves and no unexpected legislation. The reported growth rate for each subcategory technology is based on estimates developed by the analyst using data provided by DOE references. The average annual growth rate (AAGR) for each technology type is a weighted rate based on the rates for each subcategory type and the size of each subcategory, relative to the size of the sum of all the subcategories of a technology type. In all cases, the basis for the forecasts, including sources and procedures, and all assumptions made will be clearly documented.


This report is based on an extensive literature review, online, and Internet resources, patent examinations, discussions with commercial and government sources, responses to surveys, attendance at technical conferences, and an analysis of radioactive waste management technology vendors and markets. The market forecasts are based on an in-depth review of the year-2000 update of the Department of Energy's Status Report on Paths to Closure [DOE/EM-0526]. This analysis includes approximately 385 project baseline summary reports and detailed site disposition maps for 11 DOE field offices. Additional important sources of information include:

  • Central Internet Database, a DOE searchable database containing waste-inventory and waste-disposition data;
  • Current and Planned Low-Level Waste Disposal Capacity Report, Revision 2 [DOE, December 2000];
  • DOE Office of Environmental Management, Preferred Alternatives Matrices for Remediation/Waste Processing and Decommissioning (1997); and
  • DOE budget appropriations for FY (fiscal year) 2000 through FY 2002, and budget requests for FY 2003.


Carolyn Doty is president of Doty, Inc., an environmental risk-management firm specializing in all aspects of environmental management, including technology evaluation, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, and environmental policy. She is a former researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has supported the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management headquarters programs and projects involving all major DOE installations. Her experience also includes extensive work in the private sector, including the development of a proprietary cost-estimating system for hazardous waste site cleanup.

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